In this short post, we'll discuss the difference between using a chicken egg incubator and brooding. Also, we'll discuss the pros and cons of each method to give you a greater understanding of how each one works. You'll have enough confidence to effectively hatch your chicken's eggs by the end of this post.
Incubation is defined as a procedure egg-laying animals undergo to give birth to their offspring. Your eggs need to be stored at a uniform temperature for them to hatch correctly. While hens incubate their eggs naturally, you're better off using an incubator machine if you want better results.
An incubator machine is used to help that egg hatching process. Incubator machines simulate the natural incubation process by keeping the eggs in the correct humidity and warmth needed to hatch them. This ensures that your eggs are in a safe area where they can grow and hatch after a period of 21 days.
Before incubator machines were created, hens would hatch their eggs by sitting on them. The mother hen would create brood patches to naturally incubate their eggs. In a brood patch, a group of blood vessels help regulate the egg's temperature and keeps it at a satisfactory level.
After the eggs have completely hatched, the mother hen still broods for their young. They continue to keep their offspring warm by spreading out their feathers in a nest. For the chicks hatching, this process keeps them warm while also staying in close contact with the mother hen.
However, brooding hens need to regularly care for their eggs, which prevents them from making eggs at a faster rate. On average, a hen can brood and incubate up to 20 eggs a year. In comparison, incubator machines allow the user to store hundreds of eggs without failure.
Another issue lies in the uncertainty of the process. When brooding, your hen doesn't have complete control over the temperature and humidity of their stored eggs. Users with incubator machines can manually control these factors; making it easier for the hens to hatch.
Increased egg production is the main reason why you should use an incubator machine. Hens tend to stop creating eggs once they begin caring for their offspring. When using an incubator machine, that same hen will be able to hatch up to 300 eggs in a year. Using an incubator increases the efficiency and the rate at which your eggs will hatch.
Plus, incubator machines offer more control over the eggs. Most machines have user control settings that allow them to control the oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2) atmosphere inside each egg. Having this control helps save time and reduces the chances of your eggs failing to hatch.
To conclude, your hens are good at hatching their eggs. But, you'll need an incubator machine to make the process go more smoothly. If you are serious about increasing your total egg count, then invest in an incubator machine.